I don't use the launchpad, especially as it has a lot of useless apps in there that you can't delete either. For things like the dock and the dashboard I found guides online on how to remove them, but none for launchpad. Is it possible to remove launchpad completely (on OS X 10.9.4)?

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    Launchpad it self or all the Apps in contains? (make it blank)
    – Ruskes
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 19:41
  • Indeed launchpad itself not the apps it contains. If you have resources on how to remove some of the forceware apps that ship with OS X, I gladly take links in a comment, but that's not really my question now.
    – kontur
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 19:50
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    As you don't use the app, please: why is its existence a concern? The app uses less than 1.5 MB space. Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 17:15
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    @GrahamPerrin It's not like it causes me sleepless nights. I just don't like useless stuff. If someone knows a way to remove it like one can "remove" the dock or dashboard by killing a process or registry entry, then that is what I am looking for.
    – kontur
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 18:35
  • What is the name of the LaunchPad system service? If I could figure that out, I could write a script to kill it and keep it killed... Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:47

5 Answers 5


It is not possible to remove it but you can disable it.

In order to do so you need to:

  1. Go into System Preferences then under Trackpad and More Gestures you can disable pinch to launchpad

  2. Remove it from the dock

  3. Use FunctionFlip to reassign the F4 key to something else

  • my pleasure hope you like it
    – Macmaniman
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 18:37
  • I like @Buscar's answer on how to empty the Launch Pad of all the Apple apps, but this is still the one closest to what I am asking. I'll award you the bounty, but if possible I'll leave the question open for now, maybe in the future there will turn up some way to do this entirely.
    – kontur
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 17:56

It should not be removed since it is a part of the OS.


At best you can completely empty it and remove from Dock.

There is a way to empty Launchpad completely—removing even Apple's own apps. The crux of this trick is wiping out the contents of the database Lion uses to know what goes where in Launchpad. To do so, launch Terminal (which, as always, is in /Applications/Utilities) and paste in this sequence of commands at the command line:

sqlite3 ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db "DELETE from apps; DELETE from groups WHERE title<>''; DELETE from items WHERE rowid>2;"; Killall Dock

Please do not be tempted to use the brute force Terminal command like the rm , since it can produce undesired results (more problems then gain) Specialy the rm- rf is dangerous (the f) would ignore any warnings and just irreversibly delete the file. As you can see there is a Warning about "do not delete" as it is required by your OS.

  • Emptying it with the described methods works, which is nice. Other things like Dock or Dashboard are also "part of the OS", but you can get rid of them. I am still hoping for an answer that achieves that.
    – kontur
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 20:30
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    Complementary to this answer: apple.stackexchange.com/a/146332/8546 – please note that removing Launchpad.app from OS X 10.9.5 does not remove Launchpad functionality. Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 20:13

Exactly what do you want to do? You can remove Launchpad from the Dock. Pick it up with your Mouse, and pul it off until it disappears in a puff of smoke.

You can also go into System Preferences, and go into the Trackpad Preferences (second row), select More Gestures on the top bar, and deselect Launch Pad by removing the checkbox. This way, you don't get into LauchPad via the pinch gesture.

You can't completely remove LaunchPad since it is system software and not a normal app, but you're not forced to use it. However, you remove it from the Dock and the pinch gesture should pretty much eliminate its use.

  • Thanks for explaining the steps to disable shortcuts in detail. My question is as stated: Is it possible to remove launchpad completely (on OS X 10.9.4)?
    – kontur
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 18:37
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    No. You cannot completely remove it because it's really a system service. Maybe this will help: technorms.com/18829/control-launchpad. This will tell you how to get rid of all the icons in LaunchPad and then fill them with only the icons you want.
    – David W.
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 19:38

The Launchpad application link can be removed using the Terminal tool rm -rf, but this is highly inadvisable, and it will not remove the Launchpad system service, just the Application link.

If you wish to proceed anyway, here are instructions:

  1. Open Terminal under a user account with administrative privileges. Terminal is located in the Utilities folder of folder Applications of startup disk (usually named Macintosh HD)
  2. Enter the following command: sudo rm -rf /Applications/Launchpad.app
  3. You'll be prompted to enter your password, enter it (it won't appear on-screen at all, like nothing's happening, but it's working nevertheless)
  4. If you're definitely sure you want to remove Launchpad.app, then press Enter.

Launchpad will no longer be in the Applications directory, and the Launchpad icon in the Dock will display a question mark when you attempt to instigate Launchpad.

To discard the Dock icon, drag the Launchpad icon to the Trash (bin on the far right of the dock)


LaunchPad appears to be part of the Dock rather than a separate process, so it cannot be truly disabled or deleted without disabling the Dock too. The below commands are the closest I can come to neutralizing Launchpad—save them to a script and run. There will still be a few methods of activating the Launchpad overlay, but the screen should always be empty.

This process modifies system files, so make a backup! I've only tested it on OS X 10.9 Mavericks (because I love Mavericks), but it will probably work up to 10.14 if you disable SIP, and on 10.15 with some additional tweaks.

# Remove the Launchpad app shortcut
sudo rm -rf /Applications/Launchpad.app

# Disable Launchpad Gesture on current user account
defaults write com.apple.dock showLaunchpadGestureEnabled -int 0

# Disable Launchpad Gesture on any future user account
sudo defaults write /System/Library/User\ Template/Non_localized/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock showLaunchpadGestureEnabled -int 0

# Fix permissions on user template folder now that we've modified it
sudo chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/User\ Template/
sudo chmod 700 /System/Library/User\ Template/

# If an an app's bundle id contains a ".", exclude it from Launchpad. In practice, this rule will apply to every bundle id, excluding all apps.
echo '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"><plist version="1.0"><dict><key>launchpad</key><dict><key>ignore</key><dict><key>rules</key><array><dict><key>bundleid</key><string>.</string><key>type</key><string>contains</string></dict></array></dict></dict></dict></plist>' | sudo tee /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Contents/Resources/LaunchPadLayout.plist

# Reset LaunchPad
defaults write com.apple.dock ResetLaunchPad -bool true

# Restart Dock and Finder
killall Dock Finder

Launchpad bothers me greatly on a philosophical level—it breaks all of OS X's UI metaphors around app bundles, double-click behavior, and loads of other things. I don't know that this will be useful to anyone else, but I wanted it to be documented somewhere.

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